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Best N-fixers for lawn that deer don't love

 
Anise Hotchkiss
Posts: 1
Location: Ithaca, NY
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I'm putting together my plans for my new property. I've got a lot of lawn that eventually I want to turn into food production. But it's a lot of space, so I can't get to it all right away. My plan was to plant a nitrogen fixer into the lawn this spring, so it can start getting to work increasing fertility. Dutch clover was my first choice because it's short and our bees would love it However I was just reading that folks have found it increases deer traffic because they love the clover. I was wondering if you've experienced this and if so, any advice you pass on - using a different n-fixer? Thanks much!
 
John Wolfram
Posts: 632
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
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I wouldn't worry about the clover attracting deer, if you're putting in a food forest it's going to be a deer magnet anyways. Also, if your goal is to increase soil fertility, the deer droppings are an added bonus.
 
Casie Becker
pollinator
Posts: 812
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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If you take a moment to update your profile with a location people would be better able to answer most questions. As an example, the nitrogen fixer I grow is the Texas bluebonnet (an annual lupine wildflower) but it has a reputation of being very finicky outside it's native range so it wouldn't be the first thing I'd recommend to someone in Michigan or Virginia.
 
Cristo Balete
Posts: 421
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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I have attributed a lot of things to deer, when it was the rabbits that were eating the plants, or packrats that were chewing off stems and leaves for nesting material. The only thing that stops any of these is a chicken wire fence, 8 feet high to keep the deer out, bent outward at the bottom at least 6 inches and held down by letting the grass grow through it. Even then, clever birds see colorful tomatoes and apples and pears and help themselves.

But, for nitrogen fixing for summer growth, a mixture of field peas, beans and clovers will not only fix nitrogen, but their foliage can be mowed or chopped finely and left as mulch. Let some of them re-seed for late summer growth. I've found these mixes at nurseries.

The most reliable natural source is look around your own area for nitrogen fixers already growing there and get the seeds or transplant the native ones. Vetch is pretty common, has pink flowers. Those are most likely critter resistant and will suit your climate.
 
Ken W Wilson
Posts: 340
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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I like white Dutch clover. I've never noticed the deer to bother it. It's very common here, so they can get it anywhere. They love sweet potato vines though.
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Anise Hotchkiss : Welcome to Permies.com and our sister site Richsoil.com. I don't want to Hi-jack this thread-sending you a P.M.

For the Crafts ! Big AL
 
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